For furniture making, the best, most stable stock has the annual growth rings intersecting each face at approximately the same angle, roughly 45º. Wood cut this way is referred to as quarter sawn. Milling quarter sawn lumber is a labour intensive process, which is why it costs more than plain-sawn lumber. The appearance of the grain will tend to be similar on all four sides. This makes quarter sawn lumber a great choice for table legs, rails and stiles of frame and panel doors, or for any part where two adjacent sides are visible.
The most common type of cedar is the western red variety. Western red cedar, as its name implies, has a reddish color to it. This type of wood is relatively soft (1 on a scale of 1 to 4), has a straight grain, and has a slightly aromatic smell. Western Red cedar is mostly used for outdoor projects such as furniture, decks, and building exteriors because it can handle moist environments without rotting. Western red cedar is moderately priced and can be found at most home centers.
Carpentry skills can be applied to residential or commercial remodeling, cabinet making and exterior and interior trim. Coursework in carpentry classes commonly includes instruction in building safety, construction codes, framing and site layout. These courses are widely available at technical schools and colleges. Hands-on practice is emphasized in most classes.
Teak is becoming rarer as the days go on, but it is the staple for fine outdoor furniture. Teak is highly weather-resistant and beautiful (not to mention expensive — can you believe almost $24 a board foot?). Teak has an oily feel and a golden-brown color. It rates a 3 on a scale of 1 to 5 for hardness and is only available from larger lumberyards and specialty suppliers.
The final building step is to lay each plank in place. These will be cut to 20” long each. Attach each piece using wood glue and brad nails. Just make sure the length the nails isn’t longer than the width of the planks and plywood combined. Once you have finished that, you can paint or stain and add your hardware!  Because I was using pre-finished white barn wood from Porter Barn Wood, I painted the table before adding the planks.  Check out these planks….
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